It’s probably the ultimate question for gamers. Should I, or shouldn’t I, buy a VR headset? There are loads of options out there, from the pricey Rift to the more affordable Samsung Gear (plus handset, of course). But, slap bang in the middle of the road is PlayStation VR. It isn’t cheap, but it’s certainly cheaper than some options. It also provides a decent VR experience for the money, too. But is it a sound investment?
I wouldn’t say that I’m skeptical about VR. But, at the same time, I don’t think that it’ll revolutionise gaming. At least I can’t see VR becoming the norm, not for a good few years. But I’m always a little skeptical of different takes on how we play video games. Mainly because, over the past few decades, the classic console / PC option has always come out strongest. That being said, some serious companies are investing some serious cash into the tech. So I’m not completely writing it off.
I recently had the pleasure of playing PlayStation VR. Alex purchased the headset, and he’s currently singing its praises. I, on the other hand, wasn’t quite as enamored. He was kind enough to invite me over to give it a go. Granted, I only played it for a couple of hours. But in that time, I saw enough to know it wasn’t for me. Despite one or two of the games making me feel a little nauseated, I did enjoy the experience. But, overall, it felt novel rather than ‘game changing’.
I didn’t go home with that ‘I must buy this now’ feeling. I went home happy, after a great evening of gaming – but it wasn’t enough to convince me that PlayStation VR is worth purchasing. Sure, the games were fun. Sure, the tech was impressive. But I couldn’t see myself sitting and playing it regularly. Plus, quite a few of the demos and games I got to play, whilst fun, didn’t necessarily NEED VR.
Take RIGS for example. It’s a good game, and it’s great with VR. But it doesn’t NEED VR – you could easily play that game on a controller (and for much of it, you do). The VR element feels a little novel. But, without it, RIGS would be a pretty average game. There was another fun game called Headmaster. It was enjoyable. But I’ve played an incredibly similar mini-game in Kinect. With the same mechanics, minus the VR. Does the VR make it? Yes. But is it a good enough game to warrant me paying £450(ish) to play it? No. I mean, were I a rich man I’d definitely buy it, and I’d certainly enjoy playing it. For however long that may last. But, as a man with responsibilities and a lack of cash to flash, I couldn’t warrant the expenditure.
But, in fairness, this is very early days for PlayStation VR. It’s currently at a very important stage. It has enough decent games to convince the more committed gamers to purchase it. But it doesn’t have enough to warrant those on the fence giving it a punt. It needs some better titles, and it needs them fast. That’s what will make or break the headset.
Really, that’s been the issue with many of these types of experiences. The Kinect failed because of it. As did the EyeToy. The WiiU didn’t do overly well, either. The only real success story is the Wii – but I’d probably argue that the majority of people who purchased the console, only play it occasionally.
I don’t think that PlayStation VR will be the future for Sony. But I also don’t think that it’ll be a failure. Calling it a waste of money, this early on, would be unfair. But in a year’s time, if it still doesn’t have some decent games available, I definitely wouldn’t recommend getting one.